Hakeem Nicks' Instant Fantasy Reaction After Preseason Game vs. Giants

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2014

Indianapolis Colts' Hakeem Nicks (14) runs following a catch during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Hakeem Nicks is making his first big impact with his new team, and who else would it come against other than his former employers, the New York Giants?

The Indianapolis Colts receiver faced his former team in Saturday night's preseason affair, and he showed up in a huge way. Nicks racked up five catches for 53 yards in a spectacular first-half showing.

New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano noted his stat line should have been much better:

The 26-year-old was aggressive in gaining separation from cornerbacks, pinpointing the ball with strong hands and avoiding defenders to get up the field. His play forced flashbacks to 2011, when Nicks was an elite No. 1 wideout for the Super Bowl-winning Giants.

NFL Around the League observed Nicks' impact on the game:

It remains to be seen how Nicks will fit into the Colts' full-strength offense. Part of why the sixth-year pro got so much play was the fact that Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton sat out of Saturday's game. 

Aug 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (14) runs with the ball after making a catch against the New York Giants in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

At the same time, quarterback Andrew Luck is entering his third year, and the No. 1 quarterback's continued growth will make for even the Colts' third receiving option to become fantasy relevant. 

Nicks should be well behind Wayne and Hilton's production from a fantasy standpoint, and he also has to compete with Da'Rick Rogers. It will be easier said than done for him to stay on the field, much less become a fantasy stud. 

With that said, a change of scenery can often be just what it takes for a player to turn that proverbial corner.

The former first-round pick has the credentials to make him an intriguing breakout option throughout the 2014 season, and his experience bodes well. But he'll be no more than a sporadic bench player in standard fantasy leagues until he develops a much more defined role in Indy.